EXPOSURE TO METHYL ETHYL KETONE (MEK) IN PREGNANCY

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(Date of issue: August 2011, Version: 1)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Summary

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is an industrial hydrocarbon solvent used in the manufacture of many products, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals.  It is also used in cosmetics and as a flavouring agent.

There are no published data regarding exposure to MEK during human pregnancy.

As with all chemicals, unnecessary exposure to MEK should be avoided during pregnancy.  However, where occupational exposure is unavoidable, adequate health and safety precautions should be taken to ensure that exposure is well within the recommended exposure limits and does not lead to maternal symptoms of toxicity.

Limited human pregnancy exposure data prevents an evidence-based assessment of the risk posed by maternal MEK exposure to the developing fetus.  Where exposure to MEK has occurred, even in cases which did not result in maternal toxicity, enhanced fetal monitoring may be warranted.  Discussion with UKTIS is recommended.

Note: This document has been archived and will not be routinely updated. If up-to-date information is required please contact UKTIS.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on UKTIS.org.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at www.toxbase.org.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org or UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.